West Midlands Police seizes £1 million under POCA
More than £1million has been seized over the last year from travellers passing through Birmingham Airport who are suspected of using the port as a gateway to send money abroad for criminal gain.
The money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) by the Airport Policing Unit working together with the Counter Terrorism Unit, National Crime Agency, Border Force and the Regional Organised Crime Unit.
In August, £4,000 was seized from a man who was stopped during a Project Servator deployment which to aims to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity. In addition to the cash that was recovered, he was also found to be in possession of controlled drugs and as was subsequently charged with drug offences.
In September, a man was spoken to after landing in the UK from Dubai. Further checks revealed he was wanted on recall to prison and also in possession of a large quantity of high value designer goods which included Rolex watches. The man was arrested, returned to prison and once the items were proved to be genuine they were seized and confiscated under POCA legislation.
Birmingham Airport Commander Inspector Chris Cotton , said: “This is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates the close relationship we have with our partners here at Birmingham Airport. We work together to ensure it remains a safe place for people to visit and to make it a hard target for criminality.
“Our message is clear, if you come to Birmingham Airport to commit crime - we will find you.
“We will always investigate people who have made money from crime; it’s hugely satisfying to seize their money or assets - including property, cars or valuables - and spend that money to benefit our communities.
“Our tactics are effective and are designed to deter, detect and disrupt a range of crime, whilst reassuring members of the public."
Anyone travelling with large amounts of money are advised to have the correct supporting documentation such as bank statements to prove the authenticity of the cash.